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How to Choose an Advisor

How To Choose An Advisor

Your financial life marches forward whether you participate or not. It’s easy to be in denial about money challenges, big or small, but if you never take action to realize them, these all have the potential to become unrecognized dreams. 

It’s easy to say, “I’ll get started on financial planning as soon as I get organized.” It’s natural to want to get everything in order before engaging with a financial advisor. And yet, since nobody is ever entirely “put together,” this means they’ll never feel “quite ready” to meet with a financial advisor and put it off indefinitely.

How Do Advisors Help?

“But,” you say, “What is a financial advisor really going to do for me? And won’t it be expensive?” 

An Abacus financial advisor will help you expand what’s possible with your money, and will help align your values with your finances so you can be fulfilled. Advisors are your support system that help you become proactive about your financial life, but they’re also kind of your nerdy friend who makes sure you don’t just bookmark that article on 529 college savings plans but instead act on it by opening an account and scheduling regular deposits from your checking account.

Abacus advisors are also fee-only, meaning you’re not paying for third-party products, or to earn a commission on “advice” they’re selling you. 

It’s critical to find an advisor you’re comfortable with and who speaks to your authentic needs. When you’re interviewing a new financial advisor, or assessing the value of your current one, instead of just asking about track record, we invite you to try other lines of questioning:

  • How will you support me in my values?
  • How do I know you will be objective and transparent?
  • How will you hold me accountable to my goal of never running out of money?
  • How will you keep all of my investment costs as low as possible?
  • How will you help minimize the taxes I pay from my investments?
  • How will you rebalance my portfolio?

Have your advisor show you a step-by-step path to success and you’ll worry a lot less about short-term investment returns and find peace in long-term, goal-oriented ones.

One Other Consideration

How old will your advisor be when you are 65? 75? How about 105? There’s a scary reality creeping into the financial services industry—it’s getting old. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less than half of all CFP® Professionals are under the age of 50, and only a fifth are under 40. The industry can’t find enough younger advisors to replace our aging founders. This is because the old-school advice when choosing a financial advisor has usually been to “look for grey hair.” 

But we would suggest something different—look for a team that combines younger and older advisors. 

Why is a multigenerational team the best of all worlds? Because it combines experience with fresh education. A CFP® Professional who has recently gone through the academic coursework is likely better-trained due to more stringent CFP® requirements but is also able to draw upon the financial and emotional knowledge of a seasoned advisor. 

Younger advisors going through the CFP® certification program become a valuable resource to their older Abacus colleagues because of their daily exposure to the latest industry research, facts, and figures, while also gaining valuable mentorship. 

Your retirement team doesn’t retire when you do: we’ll be working with and advising you throughout your entire retirement. When older advisors team up with younger advisors to serve clients, the knowledge about a client’s situation is seamlessly transferred. This way, when an older advisor retires there are no surprises.

A multigenerational team can also be technically savvy, which is a huge benefit for you as a client. Generation X and Y were raised around technology, so having proficiency in tech is a given. This can help with finding faster, safer, and smarter ways of doing things, which can also make the whole advisory practice more secure and efficient, freeing up time to spend helping you.

Your kids can also relate! A younger advisor can understand and likely connect better with your children. Having group meetings can make sure everyone is on the same page for the decades ahead. Having both older and younger advisors on your advisory team not only allows you to thrive, but lets the future generations of your legacy thrive, too.

Don’t keep letting your financial life march by without you enjoying the parade, in all its colorful noise and bustle. Find peace and mindfulness by aligning your values through your finances. Reach out and book a meeting with an Abacus advisor today.

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